Profile By Sanford vs Optavia: Which One is Better?

profile vs optavia
Optavia vs Profile by Sanford

Optavia and Profile by Sanford are both popular weight loss programs but when choosing between them might not be as straightforward as it appears. Optavia, formerly Medifast, is a structured program from Baltimore involving five prepackaged meals and one Lean and Green meal daily, while Profile Plan (previously Profile by Sanford), designed by Sanford Health’s medical experts, offers a comprehensive approach with 47 locations in the U.S., including Omaha and Sioux Falls.

From my experience, Optavia and Profile By Sanford differ in costs, coaching support, products, and what other customers say about them. Both diets work well for fat loss, but there’s no clear winner. I’ve found that the Optavia diet has more research backing it and can be more budget-friendly, depending on the plan you choose. So, picking between the two isn’t as simple as you’d think – there’s a lot to consider.

What is Profile By Sanford?

Profile by Sanford is a program that helps people of all ages lose weight and get healthier by giving them personalized meal plans. In a 2021 study, Maria Bell and Valerie Reed from Sanford Health discovered that women who joined the Profile by Sanford program shed an average of 16.4 kg (15.3% of their body weight) in a year. This was way more than the control group, who only lost 1.7 kg (2.3% of their body weight), as you can see in this graph.

profile plan diet weight loss results

The Profile by Sanford program is all about low-carb eating and offers ready-made meals like shakes, bars, and snacks. You can buy these at their centers or online, and they claim a success rate of nearly 75%. They personalize the plan for you, which makes them different from other diets that try to fit everyone into the same mold and sometimes don’t work as well. According to Alyssa Burnison, Director of Program & Nutrition at Profile Plan, the level of customization offered to each customer makes Profile by Sanford a highly effective choice for achieving fitness goals.

What is the Optavia Diet?

Optavia Diet is a weight loss and meal replacement program that provides easy-to-prepare recipes, snacks and shakes to promote healthy habits. I heard about Optavia on Instagram when Buddy Valastro, the Cake Boss guy, posted about his weight loss success with it. Optavia suggests eating five small meals a day, plus one to three “Lean and Green” meals you cook yourself, depending on the plan you’re on. The Optavia Diet is owned by Medifast, a company known for its weight loss and health-related products sold through multilevel marketing.

The great thing about the Optavia diet is that it can help you lose fat. In a study from 2019 by Linda M. Arterburn, they found that people following the Optavia 5 and 1 plan lost a good amount of weight (around 5.7%) and also saw less fat around their bellies and hips.

Profile By Sanford vs Optavia: What’s the difference?

The primary difference between Profile Plan and Optavia lies in their meal plans and product dependence, not in their menus or recipes for meals. The Optavia diet has three main plans, all of which require the use of Optavia Fuelings. With Sanford by Profile, you can choose between meal plans that use meal replacements or go for a more ‘all-natural’ coaching plus package, where you eat whole foods from the grocery store.

Another difference is how they track your weight loss. Sanford Profile health coaches use Genetic Tests for Weight Loss, Smart Body Scales, and 3D Body Scans (some locations offer this) to create a personalized plan. In contrast, Optavia suggests consulting your doctor before starting, but they don’t do any of these screenings themselves. Other differences between Optavia and Profile Plan include the cost, coaching support, products used, and customer experience.


When comparing Profile By Sanford and Optavia, the prices are pretty much in the same ballpark. Profile starts at around $5.32 a day for their Complete membership and $16.00 a day for food plans. Profile Plan charges $21.99 for seven items like bars, fiber drinks, or standard shakes, and $23.99 for plant-based shakes, while Optavia Fuelings costs $23.25 for seven. Both offer subscription plans, with Profile giving a 25% discount for auto-renewal, and Optavia Premier also having auto-renewal but no product discounts. While Optavia has improved its weight loss plans, there can still be differences in coaching support, product quality, and some mixed reviews to consider.

Coaching Support

The coaching differences between Optavia and Profile by Sanford come down to the coaches themselves. Optavia coaches are often people who’ve gone through the Optavia program and focus mainly on selling products and recruiting more coaches. They might not have a background in nutrition or coaching.

Profile by Sanford coaches, on the other hand, need a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience. They attend certification classes covering wellness topics like mindful eating, goal setting, and stress management, making them more qualified in these areas.

Meal replacements

Optavia offers a diverse range of Fuelings, including bars, shakes, brownie mixes, pancakes, snack sticks, cereals, pasta, potatoes, soups, and pudding. These products are fortified with vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and protein, and they steer clear of artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners. Optavia bars have many flavors like peanut butter, s’mores, chocolate mint cookies, raisin oat cinnamon, and they also offer a variety of shake options including mocha, caramel macchiato, vanilla, peanut butter, and strawberry. In terms of macronutrients, Optavia Fuelings have consistent nutritional values, usually providing around 100-110 calories per serving, mostly coming from Soy protein isolate.

Profile by Sanford, on the other hand, offers a different lineup, including shakes and protein bars, but also plant-based shakes, pre-workout products, ready-to-drink shakes, high-protein coffee drinks, soups, pasta options, and desserts. Their ingredients typically include Soy Protein Isolate, calcium caseinate, whey protein isolate, casein, partially hydrolyzed milk protein isolate, and maltitol as a sweetener. The most recommended Profile products are their shakes and bars, with shakes providing either 15 or 20 grams of protein and containing 100 or 160 calories. Interestingly, their heartier options don’t contain soy protein.

Customer Reviews

I’ve been digging into customer reviews and ratings for both Optavia and Profile by Sanford, and I’ve noticed some clear differences in customer satisfaction and experience. From what I’ve seen, Optavia has a pretty low average rating of 1.51 out of 5 on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), based on 121 customer reviews. They’ve had 425 complaints closed in the last 3 years, with 39 in the past year alone. A lot of customers seem unhappy with their auto-charge process, finding it hard to cancel and get refunds. There are reports of being charged post-cancellation and frustrating delays in refund processes even after returning products.

In contrast, Profile by Sanford fares better with an average rating of 3.9 out of 5 on Customer Affairs, from 93 reviews. About 58% of these are 5-star, and 11% are 4-star. While some customers have had trouble sticking to the program for the long haul and aren’t thrilled with the remote coaching, there’s a good share of positive feedback too. People have talked about significant weight loss, enjoying healthier food choices, and finding the coaches knowledgeable. I’ve read about several customers who’ve lost a substantial amount of weight and managed to keep it off for years. So, despite some of the negative aspects, it seems like quite a few customers are pleased with the weight loss results they’ve achieved with the Profile plan.

Which is better Profile By Sanford versus Optavia?

In my experience, Profile by Sanford stands out compared to Optavia, offering not only a range of foods but also superior service, more professional coaching, and a variety of plan options, all at a similar price point. The greatest success with Profile, however, often comes from accessing their clinics, which makes it an excellent choice for urban dwellers. For those in rural areas, this might be a limitation to consider.

What are the alternative diets to Profile By Sanford and Optavia?

I’ve explored several alternatives to Profile By Sanford and Optavia, including the Wonderslim, and Weight Watchers. I’ve also considered Ambari Nutrition, Atkins, Nutrisystem, Isagenix, and Jenny Craig. Each offers a unique approach to weight loss and nutrition, providing varied options to suit different preferences and goals. If you want diets similar to Optavia but more budget-friendly, Skinny Box Diet or Ideal Protein might be worth a look. You can also try doing Optavia 5 and 1 by yourself.

What’s the difference between Optavia, Profile By Sanford, and Skinny Box?

“In my experience, the major difference between Optavia, Profile By Sanford, and Skinny Box lies in their structure and pricing. Skinny Box doesn’t offer coaching, and you have to pay upfront to join. When it comes to food quality, Optavia and Skinny Box are similar, but Skinny Box’s prices are nearly half of the others. On the other hand, Optavia and Profile Plan are free to join, which is a key consideration.

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